informa
/
2 MIN READ
Blogs

Getting/Making Game Music that Fits - World Tour Series - Review

Tips for new audio designers composing video game music out of their comfort zone. Useful for producers as well, looking to put together design directions for their audio designers.

While I’ve been in the audio design for video games business over a decade now, I know that there’s a heck of a lot more for me to learn. What was difficult at first was learning how to compose for a wide variety of different cultures and time periods. I’ve been asked to compose music for video games in every genre I’ve spoke about this year, and at first, I was very reluctant to break out of my initial niche genre: classic RPG scores. I say it in just about every entry, but the best way I learned was to do my research and listen to as many different soundtracks as possible. There’s a lot, to be sure! But after a while, I started to notice a lot of these genre-tracks had similarities in tempo, instruments, and musicality. Breaking these down into bite size chunks, exploring and composing until it started to feel and sound right was the next step.

When it comes to managing a game’s audio design, first, I determine what style would best fit by pouring over the game docs and speaking to lead designs and artists. Typically, I’ve found that a multitude of audio directions are possible, so it’s best to have a clear path forward from the beginning. Look for target audience, which will include the target age, region, platform, and other pertinent data. I like to ask if there's similar games or media similar to what the design is going for, and take a listen to see what players are expecting, and to look out for opportunities to distinguish your audio. There's a world of excellent music out there, so go check it out!

Game audio design has its fair share of challenges, and a learning curve that seems to never end, but the rewards are in doing so. I can safely say I can compose for any game (which I definitely could not do at the beginning of my career!), but so can you. All it takes is a little courage, a lot of listening, and the desire to be a well-rounded game audio composer.

Harry Mack is an audio designer with more than 10 years industry experience, composing video game music and sound effects for over thirty titles. Examples of his latest work and samples are available at www.harrymack.com.

Latest Jobs

Cryptic Studios

Remote
1.19.23
Senior Producer

Night School Studio

Los Angeles, CA, USA
1.09.23
Level Designer / Scripter, Games Studio

Fast Travel Games

Hybrid (Stockholm, Sweden)
1.09.23
Social Media / Community Manager
More Jobs   

CONNECT WITH US

Explore the
Subscribe to
Follow us

Game Developer Job Board

Game Developer Newsletter

@gamedevdotcom

Explore the

Game Developer Job Board

Browse open positions across the game industry or recruit new talent for your studio

Browse
Subscribe to

Game Developer Newsletter

Get daily Game Developer top stories every morning straight into your inbox

Subscribe
Follow us

@gamedevdotcom

Follow us @gamedevdotcom to stay up-to-date with the latest news & insider information about events & more